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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Alan Grayson says he's raising money despite Patrick Murphy's 'incessant cow-pie flinging'



U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson rejects any suggestion that his U.S. Senate campaign has suffered blows from recent weeks of bad press and calls by leaders of his own party to drop out.

The Orlando congressman's campaign sent out a statement Thursday afternoon boasting of "a deluge of donations" from his small-donor, progressive following.

The campaign said Grayson will soon "eclipse $1 million" raised from small donors online since Grayson entered the race last summer. The campaign said about $68,000 was raised Wednesday alone; about $48,000 of that isn't immediate cash, but "in monthly donations by preauthorized credit card."

The claim could not be independently verified, because federal campaigns report their finances every three months. (The next disclosure is due April 15 for the period between January and March.)

Grayson's campaign said his supporters "rallied against the smear tactics" of his opponent, fellow U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

Murphy's campaign has been quick to highlight Grayson's negative headlines and sent an email blast this week, in which U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid campaigned on Murphy's behalf.

Reid renewed his call for Grayson to end his campaign because of allegations Grayson used his role as a congressman to advance hedge funds he managed. Because of the hedge funds, Grayson is the subject of a congressional ethics investigation

But emphasizing Grayson's recent fundraising figures, Grayson campaign spokesman David Damron said, "The Murphy campaign’s incessant cow-pie flinging has obviously backfired."

Murphy campaign spokeswoman Galia Slayen said Grayson's insults are "just another desperate attempt" to distract from his various controversies of late, which also included a Bloomberg report on Grayson's children profiting from investments in a company that allegedly uses African slave labor.

Murphy campaign manager Josh Wolf also had this to say on Twitter (which references a Times/Herald story last fall):

While Grayson's campaign crows over his reported campaign income, he still has a far hill to climb to even come close to the amount of money Murphy has pulled in thanks to the wealthy Democratic establishment.

For the most recent three-month filing period, which ended Dec. 31, Murphy raised $1.46 million, leaving him with nearly $4.3 million in the bank to spend heading into 2016. That latter figure was more than 20 times the amount Grayson reported to have.

According to his last FEC report, Grayson entered 2016 with $212,000 in the bank, after having raised $484,200 in donations in the last three months of 2015.

[Last modified: Friday, February 26, 2016 6:08am]


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